Joined: May 30, 2012
From: Tampa Bay
|Posted: 2012-06-01 10:55 am  Permalink|
I have this View-Master set and can heartily recommend it. I'm a VM collector, so I've got ongoing searches running for many different sets, and this one is a difficult one to come by. Took me about a year or two to finally win one on eBay, at $30 plus shipping. I was willing to go up to $50, so quite pleased with that outcome! Florida was at the height of its popularity as a destination at the same time that View-Master was at the height of its popularity as a medium for showcasing destinations, so what we have preserved on these old reels today is a sort of portal into that time and location...possibly the closest thing to a time machine other than the movies. I like to play the Tiki Gardens album while viewing this set, for added ambience.
I know of no other VM set that is quite as focused on tiki specifically as this one is, but other "old Florida" sets worth mentioning include Weeki Wachee Springs, Rainbow Springs, Sunken Gardens (St. Pete), Floridaland (Sarasota/Venice), Parrot Jungle, Monkey Jungle, Lion Country Safari, Jungle Gardens (Sarasota), Cypress Gardens (Winter Haven), Busch Gardens (Tampa), Cape Coral Gardens, Bok Tower (Lake Wales), Silver Springs, Marine Studios/Marineland (St. Augustine), Sea World (Orlando), Seaquarium (Miami), Historic St. Augustine, Greater Miami, and of course, the various Disney World sets. There are certainly plenty of other Florida-based sets and individual reels, but these sets offer a pretty good road trip. I wish they had made a set featuring the Mai Kai, but I was down there for Hukilau this year with my 3D camera, so you just may see some of my stereo photos of it here once I get some time to go through them.
Perhaps a little closer to the topic of tiki (and not to be missed) are the various sets focused on Hawaii. The Polynesian Cultural Center is perhaps the best Hawaiian example, but to a tikiphile, the title is more promising than the actual content. Many of the Hawaiian sets focus on the natural beauty of the islands, which is perhaps as it should be, and they're definitely worth owning.